PokerStars merges player pools of two European countries. Ole Schemion wins the first WPT European Championship. Check out these stories and more in the Tuesday Hit and Run.

PokerStars French and Spanish Poker Rooms Unify

PokerStars has officially merged the poker room’s previously segregated French and Spanish player pools, marking the first time the two countries have shared players since online poker was regulated. Italy and Portugal also agreed last summer to join France and Spain, but those efforts have not been finalized. Portugal has been quiet while Italian efforts have slowed considerably.

The merging of player pools is a big deal for players in France and Spain countries and could ultimately lead to an eventual regulated world wide player pool. Greater liquidity boosts the ecosystem of effected poker rooms and improves the playing experience for players who have more games to choose from and enjoy larger prize pools. In conjunction with the news, PokerStars has announced a €5 million guaranteed France/Espania Hold’em series along with other promotions.

In other PokerStars news, US Poker’s Steve Ruddock takes a look at PokerStars’ new marketing strategy and wonders if the damage has already been done.

Quick Hitters

– Germany’s Ole Schemion is the winner of the first WPT European Championship with a victory on Sunday in Berlin. In taking down the event, Schemion brings home $255k and a $15k seat to the WPT Tournament of Champions, which takes place this May in Las Vegas.

Stateside, the World Poker Tour is at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which is currently hosting WPTDeepStakes and will begin the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event on January 19th.

– PokerStars Team Pro Kevin Hart has been busy lately and now the poker funny man has launched a new video series where he teaches fans how to play poker. In the first episode, Hart goes over the basics of poker etiquette.

– Pennsylvania iLottery could be the first new games that launch as part of Pennsylvania’s recent widespread gambling expansion. It is anticipated to go live sometime this spring.

– Grinderschool poker training video of the day is the conclusion of the “$215 MTT Review” series where AAPoker takes viewers on a tour of a big tournament win. In this episode, he focuses on the final table and heads-up play.